tough it out Slang To get through despite hardship; endure: "It helps if one was raised to tough it out\u201d ( Gail Sheehy). Able to withstand great strain without tearing or breaking; strong and resilient: a tough all-weather fabric. Hard to cut or chew: tough meat. Physically hardy; rugged: tough mountaineers; a tough cop. Severe; harsh: a tough winter. Aggressive; pugnacious. Inclined to violent or disruptive behavior; rowdy or rough: a tough street group. Demanding or troubling; difficult: skipping the toughest questions. Strong-minded; resolute: a tough negotiator. Slang Unfortunate; too bad: a tough break. Slang Fine; great. A violent or rowdy person; a hoodlum or thug.